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PERFORMED at the Megalensian Games;1 M. Fulvius and M. Glabrio being Curule Aediles.2 Ambivius Turpio and Lucius Atilius Praenestinus3 performed it. Flaccus, the freedman of Claudius,4 composed the music, to a pair of treble flutes and bass flutes5 alternately. And it is entirely Grecian.6 Published--M. Marcellus and Cneius Sulpicius being Consuls.7

1 The Megalensian Games These games were instituted at Rome in honor of the Goddess Cybele, when her statue was brought thither from Pessinum, in Asia Minor, by Scipio Nasica; they were so called from the Greek title Μεγάλη Μήτηρ, "the Great Mother." They were called Megalesia or Megalensia, indifferently. A very interesting account of the origin of these games will be found in the Fasti of Ovid. B. iv. 1. 194, et seq.

2 Being Curule Aediles Among the other offices of the Aediles at Rome, it was their duty to preside at the public games, and to provide the necessary dramatic representations for the Theatre, by making contracts with the Poets and Actors.

3 Ambivius Turpio and Lucius Atilius Proenestinus These persons were the heads or managers of the company of actors who performed the Play, and as such it was their province to make the necessary contracts with the Curule Aediles. They were also actors themselves, and usually took the leading characters. Ambivius Turpio seems to have been a favorite with the Roman public, and to have performed for many years; of L. Atilius Praenestinus nothing is known.

4 Freedman of Claudius According to some, the words, "Flaccus Claudi" mean "the son of Claudius." It is, however, more generally thought that it is thereby meant that he was the freedman or liberated slave of some Roman noble of the family of the Claudii.

5 Treble flutes and bass flutes The history of ancient music, and especially that relative to the "tibiae," "pipes" or "flutes," is replete with obscurity. It is not agreed what are the meanings of the respective terms, but in the present Translation the following theory has been adopted: The words "dextrae" and "sinistrae" denote the kind of flute, the former being treble, the latter bass flutes, or, as they were sometimes called, "incentiveae" or "succentivae;" though it has been thought by some that they were so called because the former were held with the right hand, the latter with the left. When two treble flutes or two bass flutes were played upon at the same time, they were called "tibiae pares;" but when one was "dextra" and the other "sinistra," "tibiae impares." Hence the words "paribus dextris et sinistris," would mean alternately with treble flutes and bass flutes. Two "tibiae" were often played upon by one performer at the same time. For a specimen of a Roman "tibicen" or "piper," see the last scene of the Stichus of Plautus. Some curious information relative to the pipers of Rome and the legislative enactments respecting them will be found in the Fasti of Ovid, B. vi. 1. 653, et seq.

6 It is entirely Grecian This means that the scene is in Greece, and that it is of the kind called "palliata," as representing the manners of the Greeks, who wore the "pallium," or outer cloak; whereas the Romans wore the "toga." In the Prologue, Terence states that he borrowed it from the Greek of Menander.

7 Being Consuls M. Claudius Marcellus and C. Sulpicius Galba were Consuls in the year from the building of Rome 586, and B.C. 167.

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